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The BarrelYards | 25 fl | U/C
The BarrelYards
110 Erb st W, Waterloo
Developer: Auburn Homes
Architect: Turner Fleischer

Last confirmed plans: 2 25 story apartments, 2 22 story apartments, 1 18 story apartment, 1 12 story apartment, 9 story hotel, 2 10 story office towers, townhouses  and a retirement residence/or long term stay hotel. There has likely been changes, especially in regards to the office and retail portions of the project.


Uptown goes upscale: Barrel Yards development will transform Waterloo’s core
June 26, 2010 | Terry Pender | The Record | LINK
Quote:WATERLOO — A large excavator works full-time loading dump trucks with dirt to prepare for a massive redevelopment that will change the face of this city’s core.

After years of planning, London-based Auburn Developments Inc. is removing tonnes of earth from the site of the former Canbar factory at Erb Street West and Father David Bauer Drive.

The 28 dump trucks assigned to the job must carry 25,000 loads of dirt from the site, where 10 highrise buildings containing 1,200 residential units will be built over the next five years.

The $350-million project includes a hotel, a seniors’ residence, condos, apartments, live-work units, townhouses, street-level retail, office space, a park and an underground-parking garage with 2,400 spaces.

“This is going to completely change Waterloo’s downtown,” said Dave Coulter, the project manager.

When construction is finished the 5.1 hectares (12 acres) will contain the densest collection of tall buildings in the core and surrounding area. The buildings will range in height from an eight-storey hotel to a pair of 25-storey condominium buildings.

Coulter has divided the work into stages, the first being the hotel and the underground parking to support it. Concrete should be poured for the foundations in about a month. The hotel should be finished by September 2011.

“They are anxious to get underway, they have their subtrades lined up,” Coulter says of the hotel owners. “We are just waiting for the final building permits.”

The next phase includes two 21-storey apartment buildings on Father David Bauer Drive that are connected by live-work units at street level. The third stage will be a pair of 25-storey condo towers at the north end of the site, overlooking the park.

“It is complicated, but the way we are approaching it is a piece at a time,” Coulter says as he stands in front of a drafting table inside the construction-site trailer, going over a small mountain of drawings and plans.

The existing street grid will change, as Euclid Avenue and Menno Street are extended north through the development to connect with Father David Bauer Drive. A new east-west street will cut the development in half and create a gateway to the Barrel Yards off Father David Bauer as well.

University students living south of Erb and west of Euclid will be able to walk through the Barrel Yards on their way to campus, stopping for a coffee or snack along the way in some of the mixed-use buildings at street level.

“We tried to integrate the community as best as we can,” said Stephen Litt, special projects manager for Auburn.

Litt, a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s program in systems design engineering, says the Barrel Yards project is the biggest brownfield redevelopment now underway in the province.

A few small parking lots will be scattered on the surface, but at the City of Waterloo’s insistence, a two-level underground garage will be built to create a pedestrian-oriented environment above.

“Parking is kind of ugly — get it underground and maximize the landscaping above,” Litt says. “The more landscaping you can provide, the more attractive the buildings.”

About 2 ½ metres of topsoil will be removed from the entire site. Special pumps will then be installed to lower the water table. Foundations will be poured and wrapped with clay for waterproofing. When the pumps are turned off the water rises and the clay seals the foundations.

Industrial artifacts will be cleaned up and installed at several places as a nod to the site’s history. Locations for every tree, lamp post and bench have been put into the plans.

“This is going to make the entire site very beautiful,” Coulter says.

For more than 100 years, Canbar made barrels for the Seagram distillery across the street. Unlike many other factory owners in this region, the owners of Canbar cleaned up the site to the satisfaction of the Ministry of the Environment.

Litt said twice-weekly tests have not detected any pockets of contamination. “That’s unusual for a site of this size,” Litt says.

The Barrel Yards development is one of the final chapters in the transformation of Waterloo from a blue-collar factory town into a creative city.

Waterloo’s old industrial heart stopped beating in 1992, when the Seagram Distillery closed after more than 130 years in business. Not long after that, Canbar closed. The SunarHauserman plant on Father David Bauer Drive also shut down. The Labatt brewery was shuttered.

About 20 hectares of land became vacant in a short period of time. It has taken nearly 20 years to redevelop the former industrial sites.

Growing up in Kitchener and Waterloo, Litt remembers what the city core looked like when it was dominated by industrial buildings — the distillery, brewery, barrel factory and warehouses.

Now the 27-year-old marvels at the changes and sips a coffee in the Casa Mia deli on Father David Bauer Drive.

“That was the spark that ignited the fire in this area,” Litt says gesturing at the Seagram Lofts nearby.

Even at the height of the recent recession, a 1,300-square-foot Seagram Loft fetched $375,000.

The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics soon followed the lofts. The Centre for International Governance Innovation was established. A school of international affairs is being built across the street from the Barrel Yards development. A seniors’ residence was built on the former Sunar property and another on part of the old Labatt property.

The City of Waterloo played a critical role in all this. City councillors and bureaucrats stood firm in the face of widespread criticism in 1997 and paid $3.9 million to buy the Seagram lands so the city could control the redevelopment of the sites.

“All of the pieces are coming together today and they are all fitting in,” says Ryan Mounsey, an urban planner for the city who worked on the Barrel Yards file for years. “Difficult choices are controversial, no question, but look at how they are fitting in.”

The city also built the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex on Father David Bauer Drive. It leased the land to the Perimeter Institute for 99 years for a dollar. It sold the Seagram Museum at about half its assessed value to a trust for the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

“It’s a tremendous time to be here,” Mounsey says. “It is exciting. It is challenging.”

For projects in the core, the city waived development charges — special fees developers pay when building permits are issued to fund infrastructure. This policy alone saved Barrel Yards $23 million. It is the last big development to take advantage of the policy, which was stopped at the beginning of this year.

“The big motivator here was the development charges,” Litt says.

More than 10 years ago, the City of Waterloo gave the developer Barrel Works an environmental indemnity to build the lofts. The groundwater below this part of the city is contaminated with an industrial solvent called trichloroethylene. The water table in this area is continually pumped to prevent the toxic plume from spreading and the Region of Waterloo has never been able to pinpoint the source of the contamination.

“The city has played a fundamental role in the revitalization and redevelopment of the former industrial sites,” Mounsey said.

The Barrel Yards development will be surrounded by think-tanks, universities and high-tech companies.

“Now we have intellectual industries and we are building to support that,” Litt says.

There are few, if any, five-hectare sites available for development in any downtown and even fewer with the mix of land uses around this one.

“We have great partners and neighbours, Perimeter, the Recreation Centre, CIGI and the Seagram Lofts,” Coulter says.

March 2, 2011 | The London Free Press | LINK
Quote:It's a $350-million development in Waterloo's core. It includes:

Two 21-storey residential towers, 500 units.
One eight-storey hotel.
One 10-storey retirement building.
Two 11-storey office towers.
Two 25-storey condominium towers, 346 units.
One 18-storey apartment building, 190 units.
11 townhouses.
One 12-storey apartment tower, 130 units.
Much of the parking will be underground.
Condominiums will be valued at $350 a square foot, and range in size from 700 to 1,500 sq. ft.
--- --- ---


Dating from the late 19th century, Seagram had a distillery in Waterloo.
An adjacent business, Canada Barrels and Kegs, made barrels for the whisky maker in what is now the city's core.
More than 10 years ago, the barrel maker closed, leaving the five-hectare site empty and a program began to clean it for future development.
Jamie Crich of Auburn Development Inc. in London bought the site in 2005 and will build the Barrel Yards project during the next 10 years.
Delta hotel announced for Barrel Yards in Waterloo
Nov 27, 2012 | Paige Desmond | The Record | LINK
Quote:WATERLOO — Goodbye Kitchener and hello Waterloo. Delta Hotels and Resorts announced Tuesday it will operate a hotel in uptown Waterloo’s Barrel Yards development. The Kitchener Delta has been sold and will no longer operate under the Delta name as of March.

“It will be the best property in Waterloo,” said Ken Greene, president of Delta Hotels and Resorts.

The Delta will be part of the 14-acre Barrel Yards development at Father David Bauer Drive and Erb Street West.

The nine-storey hotel was originally slated to open in August, but until now, project developers were mum on the details. Water issues during construction set the project back about 10 months and a boutique hotel operator from London, Ont., backed out.

The announcement was welcome news for the City of Waterloo.

“We were quite confident that they were going to build a hotel there,” Mayor Brenda Halloran said. “It’s very exciting news for us.”

The Delta Waterloo is being billed by the company as the city’s first four-star hotel and is expected to cost about $36 million to develop. It’s expected to open in summer 2013.

It will be a boutique-style location with a full-service restaurant and lounge, fitness facility, business centre and about 8,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, including a 3,000-square-foot ballroom.

Delta’s 40 locations are being built or renovated to reflect modern design and make modern technology part of guest spaces.

Greene said Waterloo’s strong technology sector was part of a winning formula for the hotel here.

“You have to have a great amount of support behind it,” he said. “You have to have the location, you have to have great community support, you have to have the support of the city and you have to manage it well and you have to have the right brand name attached to it.”

Earlier this month, it was announced downtown Kitchener’s Delta hotel on King Street East had been sold to Vista Hospitality Group, a local company that originally operated the hotel in the 1990s. Vista plans extensive renovations to update the landmark.

Greene said the decisions to sell the hotel in Kitchener and move to Waterloo were made separately.

The Barrel Yards is located at the former Canadian Barrel Company lands and is developed and owned by London-based Auburn Developments Incorporated.

“We are very excited to finally be bringing Delta’s new upscale hotel experience to Waterloo,” said Auburn president Jamie Crich.

The project includes condominiums, an office building and apartments. The city approved the $250-million project in 2008.

Taxpayers have put $18 million into the project through regional and city governments, which included paying the development charges owed by Auburn. Waterloo borrowed about $2 million to cover its $8.9-million payment.

Up to 10 buildings were planned for the site, including condominium, apartment and office buildings. Building heights range up to 25 storeys.
August 25, 2014

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August 27, 2014

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I'd suggest imgur.com as the go-to image hosting site for posting on message boards / online these days.

Thanks for your photographic updates though!
modern™ Wrote:I'd suggest imgur.com as the go-to image hosting site for posting on message boards / online these days.

Thanks for your photographic updates though!

Any particular reason why? Or just a positive experience with them?
Imgur has become the defacto standard for straight-forward, no hassle image hosting. No limits, no accounts needed, fantastic uptime and load times.
The Delta Hotel at the site seems very, very close to being open. I've recently seen some staff training going on, and the outdoor areas have been sodded and cleaned up nicely.

*edit: I just looked at the Delta website and the hotel is now open and accepting immediate bookings!
You finally made it over here SectionThirtyOne! Welcome!

I heard the same thing too.

Their restaurant Proof is close to opening too.
I did, took me a little bit to figure it out. :lol:

Very excited for the hotel to open, a higher end hotel is something that was sorely needed in Waterloo. I have to imagine they will do very well here.
Found some amazing aerial shots of The BarrelYards courtesy of jasonzedd on photobucket

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Awesome shots, thank you for posting!
The Record is reporting that an 18 year old worker fell to his death at the BarrelYards earlier this afternoon.
Spokes Wrote:Found some amazing aerial shots of The BarrelYards courtesy of jasonzedd on photobucket
Huh, I biked past some people with a quad-copter recently. I guess this was what they were doing.
panamaniac Wrote:The Record is reporting that an 18 year old worker fell to his death at the BarrelYards earlier this afternoon.

Very sad, when I biked past the site tonight I seen a police van and a ctv van I knew something was wrong. This is the second death at this construction site and there was also a serious injury here.
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